Russia-Ukraine War

Russians Bomb Theater Where Ukrainians Sought Shelter

Russia Ukraine
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo

Ukrainian officials say Russian forces destroyed a theater in the city of Mariupol where hundreds of people were sheltering.

There was no immediate word on deaths or injuries in what the Mariupol city council said was an airstrike on the theater Wednesday.

The Maxar satellite imagery firm said images from Monday showed the word “children” had been written in large white letters in Russian in front of and behind the building.

Nowhere has suffered more than the encircled city of Mariupol, where local officials say missile strikes and shelling have killed more than 2,300 people. The southern seaport of 430,000 has been under attack for almost all of the three-week war in a siege that has left people struggling for food, water, heat and medicine.

NBC News has not independently verified the attack. Russia has denied targeting civilians.

In a message on Telegram, Mariupol's city council condemned what they described as Russia's "horrific and inhumane act."

"Today, racist troops purposefully and cynically destroyed the Drama Theater in the heart of Mariupol," the council said, according to an NBC News translation. "The plane dropped a bomb on a building where hundreds of peaceful Mariupol residents were hiding."

After delivering remarks at the White House on Wednesday, President Joe Biden was asked by reporters if he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is a war criminal.

This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the crisis in Ukraine.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us